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Shallow population structure and shared phylogeographic and demographic patterns in seven Amazonian White-Sand ecosystems birds

Citation

Guimarães Capurucho, João Marcos et al. (2021), Shallow population structure and shared phylogeographic and demographic patterns in seven Amazonian White-Sand ecosystems birds, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.47d7wm3f9

Abstract

White-sand ecosystems (WSE) have a patchy distribution throughout Amazonia and harbor a specialized community of birds. The patchiness of WSE lead to the expectation of highly fragmented and isolated populations across Amazonia. Additionally, the sandy substrate could render these ecosystems vulnerable climatic changes. We performed a comparative phylogeographic study of seven WSE birds using Ultra-conserved elements to evaluate their relation to Amazonian environmental and landscape history and the occurrence of shared patterns. Genetic structure varied among species with the Amazon river being the only barrier shared among species. Population structure in most cases dates to no more than 200,000 years ago. Among the 17 geographically structured populations we identified, eight showed signals of population size changes and seven of these occur north of the Amazon river. Population expansion was inferred at two distinct times: ~100,000 years ago involving six populations, and ~50,000 years ago involving two populations. The timing of co-expanding populations is consistent with differences in habitat preference, as species that prefer dense scrubby to forested vegetation expanded more recently compared to species that prefer open vegetation. Expansions could have been driven by the genesis of new WSE patches and a return to wetter conditions after glacial periods. Such recent population structure and demographic changes suggest that WSE bird populations likely went through several cycles of fragmentation, local extinction, expansion, and reconnection during Pleistocene climatic cycles, indicating a strong effect of climate in controlling the distribution of open vegetation habitats in Amazonia.

Methods

Ultraconserved Elements (UCEs) dataset